OUR ROOTS IN GIVING
Read: 2 Corinthians 8:16-21
16 Thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you. 17 For Titus not only welcomed our appeal, but he is coming to you with much enthusiasm and on his own initiative. 18 And we are sending along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his service to the gospel. 19 What is more, he was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honor the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help. 20 We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. 21 For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man. (NIV 2 Corinthians 8:16-21)
Study: Basically, Greek and Roman society saw the well-to-do as entitled to all they had, and the poor as less worthy, there to be worked and even exploited. But Christian faith bridged economic divides. Paul laid out his ideal for the church as deep-seated mutual concern and burden-sharing. And he took witnesses with him to make it clear he wasn’t “skimming” funds from the Jerusalem offering. His model taught us that Christ’s servants must handle their business in open, above-board ways. Although in the specific instance the Gentile churches were sending money to Jerusalem, Paul expressed his motivation in terms that went well beyond just finances. He wanted, he said, “to show our desire to help.” What are some ways other than monetary that you have seen your congregation reach out to help other churches? Can you think of additional non-monetary kinds of help that might be worth considering?
Pray: Lord Jesus, help me to learn more and more to do my business in ways that are as transparent as the sunlight, to show integrity because you’ve planted integrity in my heart. Amen.